On March 5th, we were attending the ash Wednesday mass at Our Lady of Assumption church in Vanier. As we entered the church we acknowledged the presence of the older Filipina ladies who are the church ushers. They always sit in the last benches in the back of the church. They also act as the greeting comittee and also sell homemade Filipino goodies after the mass. These ladies are a fine example of the human race as they are such caring people.
At 7:15, I heard loud screaming coming from the older ladies at the rear of the church. When I turned to look I then saw three ladies run outside the church. I immediately got up and ran to the exit doors. I heard the ladies yell “catch him he stole my purse”. I could see the thief running south bound , towards McArthur rd. I hesitated a second to see if he would go west through the church parking lot towards Cody st. Lucky for me he turned west bound towards Cody st., I then cut through the church front yard as that was a shortcut to the rear parking lot.
I caught up and cornered him between two cars on Cody st. I said to him in a firm voice …”How are you” ?.. he answered… “Not so good”
I could see the humiliation in his face. He was about 40 years old and as far as I could see in poor condition. I said to him ” Please give me the purse or else you will have a big problem because I am not leaving without it”. There was a stand-off for about two minutes as he paced around. He then gave me the purse and started to cry. He told me that he was living on the streets and needed money. He asked me for $10 and if I would of had any I would of gave it to him. If he was that bad a man, he would of threw the purse at me and ran. Instead he cried in humiliation and gave me the purse. He asked if I was going to phone the police and I said “no”. He then walked away and I went back into the church. I gave the purse to the lady and went back to my seat. I starting praying for that man despite his evil deed. What drives a man to steal a purse from an older lady in a church ?…. Desperation… drugs. alcohol… does not matter the reason, as they all have a sad story behind it.
Yes people can say that they are all bums while driving SUV’s , eat at restaurants 3 times a week and back to a comfortable home. Lots of these so called bums have psychological problems and have no families to help out ….so they are out on the streets.
When I caught that guy I could of easily beat him up to get the purse but instead I used compassionate conversation. The one that deserves a “kick in the butt” are the municipal/provincial governments who refuse to address this issue. Deals to build condos for the rich are on the increase in big cities. When I drive around big cities all I see …condos for the upper class. I have not seen any construction that reads “affordable housing” . What is more alarming is that they are building condos in poor areas of the city. If you read between the lines, that means that the price of surrounding rental units will increase and drive out the lower income residents. This might sound crazy but what about for every 5-10 condo complex, one for affordable housing complex. A very conservative percentage in light of the condo boom. I also question the crime rate in that city.. It is only smart to question if we are really getting the correct estimates. I am sure politicians want to hide the real figures and sweep them under the rug. Do the math, condos, condos, more condos… + no affordable housing = more crime.
Do you remember about 50 years ago, Star Trek seemed to be impossible and today we see that it was the future. Now we have the “HUNGER GAMES”.. is that the future…